5 (Almost) Free Ways to Fix Up Your Sales Funnel—Fast

 
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You know the way it feels when you’re clicking with a client, bouncing ideas off each other, really vibing? And you know the way sometimes actually getting the clients in the first place feels like...not that? 

That’s because your sales funnel is getting clogged—and it’s getting clogged at the Awareness Stage.

The good news is that once you fine-tune that piece of your flow, the rest of your funnel will be easier to click into place. The even better news? We’ve created a quick guide to get the funnel pipes unstuck.

1 |  Master the meaning of the Awareness Stage. 

If you’ve never heard the phrase “Awareness Stage” a single day in your life, don’t sweat it. This is a judgement-free zone, and marketing is filled to the brim with buzzwords—it can be tricky to keep up.

Marketing funnels are usually made up of 6 stages.

#1 |  Awareness: Your ideal clients know they need someone like you. But do they know you exist? Awareness is all about getting eyes on what you do best.

#2 | Interest: They see you across the crowded room known as the internet, and seek out more info about you. (They think it might be love at first sight, but they’re not sure.)

#3 | Consideration: They read a bunch of reviews about your services (including the testimonials on your website) & compare your different offers. Which is the best one for their particular problem?

#4 | Intent: They click your Book Now button.

#5 | Evaluation: They stare at the booking page for a second, and deliberate.

#6 | Purchase: They enter their payment info & secure a session with you. 

And bingo, bango! Bob’s your uncle. (A quick hello to all the Uncle Bobs out there.)

2 | Recognize the key importance of awareness.

But none of this can happen without Step #1. Awareness. Your clients need to know you’re out there before they can enter that magic sales funnel and start soaking up your knowledge and expertise. 

This means you have to give people as many opportunities as possible to find you. The more people who find you, the more you’ll take on that sales journey—and the more people you can help. And isn’t that what you’re doing this for? 

Remember that not everyone who finds you makes it through the funnel—that’s why it’s a funnel, not a tube.

You need to give people time to decide that yes, you’re the one that they want! *cue disco dance moves*. Otherwise, you risk working with people who aren’t the right fit.

3 | Blog to your heart’s (and SEO’s) content.

Your blog is your secret weapon. When you’re blogging regularly, search engines have more data for your site to pull from and it keeps you at the forefront of your existing customers’ minds. It’s also a surefire way to establish your brand, promote yourself as an expert and remind your clients just how much you’ve got to offer. 

But if you’re going to commit, you have to commit. That means giving yourself a publication schedule and sticking to it. If potential clients take a look and see you haven’t blogged since December, they might start to wonder what the heck happened. After all, Uncle Bob loves to wonder.

Just as a heads up, a couple of paragraphs won’t do it. In a perfect world, you want to aim for around 1,200 words to get the most out of SEO.

In terms of SEO, try not to stress so much about cramming as many keywords into your posts as possible. Since the keywords they’ll be searching for fall in your area of expertise, sharing know-how on your blog likely means they’ll be SEO-rich by default. 

Focus on creating something that genuinely helps your clients, and more often than not, the big boost in traffic follows closely behind. 

3 | Get your name in magazines and publications.

You might think the media is only interested in shiny new start-ups or massive success stories, but that isn’t the case. At all.

Remember that part about being an expert? Journalists are always looking for sources and case studies from pros like you. As a trusted source, your input would accompany their articles and promote your business.

The best news is that it’s nowhere near as hard or intimidating as you’re imagining.  

Thanks to a terrific resource called (HARO), you can be matched with journalists writing articles about your industry.  It’s free to sign up, and while you’ll get a daily email about relevant writing prompts, they don’t spam you.

You can pitch your ideas to reporters, tell your brand’s story, and talk about your expertise to readers all over the world.

Added bonus: If your article goes into print, you can frame it in your hallway so anyone who comes in your house must appreciate how great/talented you are.

4 | Consider a small social media ad budget.

You can be one of the tippy-top dogs at what you do—but clients can’t hire you if they don’t know you’re around.  

That’s where investing in social media ads comes in. 

With even a tiny budget, you can meet your audience where they live. (Washington, D.C., 2019) outlines the best social media for your demographic, so you’re not wasting time selling self-help coaching services to people who’re looking for a salon, and vice versa.

We’re not talking a multi-million dollar ad campaign with billboards in Times Square—but if that’s what’s on your vision board, consider this the first step. With a small ad budget, you can build your mailing list and start reaching your ideal customers. 

Don’t forget to add your to your social media channels, so they can book once they’ve seen your brilliance.

5 | Give them something free (that they’ll care about).

There’s nothing worse than pouring your soul into a free offer for your audience—and having it sit in an unopened folder on their desktop with the Ghosts of Opt-Ins Past.

A great way to sidestep the graveyard of PDF downloadables is by offering a quick quiz that highlights your expertise.   

People love learning about themselves, and understanding how they interact with the world. From quizzes that tell us what our names would be if we were all cats—to what our next career steps are—they’re a surefire way to increase engagement.

Just make sure to get their email address before they can access their results. They’ll always be able to opt-out of your funnel, but it’s a great first step towards getting to know how you can help them.

We promised not to make a joke about fun funnels. This is us not making that joke.

Whether someone is The One Perfect Client or just flirting with the idea of hiring you, they should get the best experience with you possible every step of the way. That’s why Acuity has got you covered, from the first call to the final invoice.

 
 
small business strategy, how to promote your business